Thursday, May 31, 2012

Yummy yummy in your tummy fruit salad...

I got this recipe from my husbands side of the family. They didn't really have a name for it so I took it upon myself to name it 'yummy yummy in your tummy fruit salad'.  That's the only name I could think to name this delectable dish :)  What makes it even more delicious is that it so uber easy to make.  Seriously my 4 year old can make this dish.  And if you take it to a party or social function, everyone will ask you about it.  You will be the hit of the party...or your dish will be :)  All that is required is 4 simple ingredients.  They include:

1 packet of cheesecake instant pudding
1 tub of Vanilla yogurt
1 tub of whip cream or homemade whip cream
Strawberries- as many or little as you want

Mix the first 3 ingredients up and then add sliced up strawberries.  Cut the strawberries any size you please.  I have done both small slices and bigger pieces.  Either way, you will leave those eating it satisfied.  But what is great about this recipe is that you can mix it up and create your very own concoction.  You can add different fruits (I have added blackberries and raspberries before) or a different flavor of pudding mix (I have used white chocolate pudding....yum).  Either way you make it you can't go wrong.  The best part is you can make it healthier by using fat free yogurt and whip cream. 

 I will let you in on a little secret....Fat free vanilla yogurt tastes exactly the same as fattening vanilla yogurt...But please don't go sharing my secret.  I don't want too many people knowing about this ;)

So for your next party or social gathering, whip this little baby up and have people swooning over you and your amazing cooking skills.  And you can really make it seem secretive by saying it's an old family secret ;)


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Summer to do List Printable

Last year we made a SUMMER TO DO LIST.  In fact it was our first printable we ever made.  This year as I was looking at it I decided I wanted something more organized and clean looking.  So I made up a new Summer printable that has the same 'to do' list + a few extras, but instead of being scattered and jumbled, it is clean and neat. 
And we left a few blanks for you to fill in your own extra activities. 

I know for me the minute my son realized that school was done for the summer, he immediately pulled out our summer to do list.  My kids love crossing off their list and love choosing what they want to do each day.  Hopefully your kids will love it as much too. 

And if you don't like the neat and organized look you can always click here and download our list from last year.  It comes down to preference I guess:)

Remember all you have to do is click on the link below, save it and then send it to your favorite printing place. 

8X10                        11x14


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Link it up Wednesday #31

It's party time!  Here are our top picks from the week!!  Thanks for stopping by and browsing around, linking up and commenting!!  We appreciate it all!

Most viewed link:
Teacher & Graduate Gifts by THE BROWN EYES HAVE IT found here

A Saavy Grandmother turned Author by INSPIRED BY FAMILY MAGAZINE found here

Triple Chip Cookies by LITTLE GREEN BOW found here

Frame Your Mirror Without Miter Cuts by THE MONEY PIT found here

Banana Cookies by SIX SISTERS STUFF found here

Mini Hamburger Cookies by SIX SISTERS STUFF found here


Pinterest Finds

Here are a few things I have found lately on Pinterest...

These look so easy and delicious!  I think the kids would get a kick out these as well!
Found here

I love this simple yet cute idea for storing craft supplies or misc small items!
Found here

We are definitely making these this summer...way too cool!
Found here

Cute cute cute teacher gift ideas.
Found here

So true, so very very true.
Found here

Another fun summer activity that is on our to-do list.  How cute and fun are these?!?
Found here

A copycat of Qdoba queso sauce??!!??!!  I am seriously addicted to that stuff...let's hope this is what it says it is!!  =)
Found here

Man I wish I was a sewer!!  This is a maxi skirt made by using a bed sheet!!  I must attempt!
Found here

This makes me want to order a pizza tonight just so I can make this!!
Found here

What a  cute craft made from soda pop tabs!
Found here

And lastly...this is a good one
Found here

Have a great Tuesday!!


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Spring Nature Walk

I saw this idea on Pinterest awhile back and thought it looked cute and simple.  So spur of the moment one day recently we decided to do it!!
I grabbed my 2 girls...ages 5 and 3 and wrapped a piece of duct tape on each of their wrists like a bracelet.
We then walked around our little neighborhood collecting parts of nature!

Anything they found that they liked, they picked it up and stuck it on their bracelets.

Rose petals...yep!

And virtually no help needed from mom.

We even threw a flower behind her ear to add to her exotic look for the day!

Showing off her 2 beautiful bracelets she made!

Even mommy made one!

What fun things do you like to do outside with your kids in this beautiful spring weather??

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Reaping the Rewards of Your Garden

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Whitney Farms for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

AdvertisementOur dad has an amazing garden...absolutely amazing!!  Especially considering that we live in Vegas and the ground here is so hard that you can break pick axes when you are digging a hole for a tree (true story).  If you don't believe me, look at these pictures of his current garden...

See what I mean...fabulous!  And we love being recipients of the delicious home grown produce!  =)

Well, are you ready to see the exact opposite of my dad's is my garden!

Totally pathetic I know...overgrown with mint, weeds and dead plants from last year!

But when I heard about Whitney-Farms-Logo_Banner_New_C.jpg (6 documents, 6 total pages)  Whitney Farms® I decided to get going on my garden and get serious about this!  Our first step was to move the garden to the other side of the house, for various reasons.  Here it is almost finished...

Next install drippers (by the way, my dad does NOT have a drip system in his...he goes out and waters it EVERY SINGLE DAY in this 100+ degreen weather...he is dedicated man!!).  Next I used some of Whitney Farms organic soil and organic plant food to get a nice jump start on my produce.

I am so excited to see the results of using Whitney-Farms-Logo_Banner_New_C.jpg (6 documents, 6 total pages).  I think my chances of producing something decent in this blasted desert ground will be so much better!

Would you like to try it out for yourself??  They are offering a $3 coupon to help your garden get started in the right direction.Whitney Farms®

Visit Sponsor's Site

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Sports Organization

My oldest is only 6 but I am already learning about being the "soccer mom".  Its busy and can be frustrating and hard especially toting around the younger siblings.  And it seems my 2 boys are doing some sport year round.  We go from wrestling in the winter to baseball in the spring, swimming and soccer in the summer and hit repeat.  Trying to keep all their different uniforms and equipment together has been a struggle for us.  In fact on Tuesday my boy had a game at 5pm and at 4:30 we were rushing to get everything ready so we could leave.  I got his uniform out and told him to find his mitt, hat and batting gloves.  Sure enough he couldn't find 2 of the 3 items.  I was already stressed trying to get my other 2 kids ready (one of which was throwing a 4 year old tantrum....terrible 2's is such a lie:).  I hurried and tried to find them but to no avail.  Thankfully his coach had a spare hat and his friend let him borrow his gloves, but I decided then and there that things needed to change. 

So I decided to make SPORTS baskets for each of the different sports the boys do.  I just went to the local dollar stores in my small town since driving 45 minutes to go to a real store didn't sound very appealing.  I bought 2 different kinds of baskets (5 total for me).  I then found some cute tags at our local scrapbook store and wrote the name of each sport.  And since I couldn't find my double tape anywhere I just settled for what I had and used clear tape to tape on the tags. 

This has helped my sanity and saved me from searching the house up and down looking for items.  After games I collect any items and put them into their baskets.  And the great thing is the baskets are in the top shelf in their closet so they can't reach them and lose stuff. 

And I love nothing more than a nice, clean and organized closet.  It just makes me giddy looking at it.  And when wrestling start again I won't have to wonder what I did with their singlets, head gear and wrestling shoes.  I will just have to pull the wrestling basket down and WAH LA it will all be there.  Genius I know:)

Instagram cut off 2 of my baskets but there are 5.  We have a swimming, farm, soccer, wrestling and baseball. 

This will probably be the only time this basket will be this nice and neat.  So enjoy:)


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Italian Chicken & Potatoes

I came across this recipe years ago on one of the end caps at my local Albertsons. I am a sucker for anything Italian so having that word in the title intrigued me. As far as Italian recipes go, there are better tasting ones but this will do in a pinch and is so easy that it trumps the better tasting ones on a day when you are just too busy to put in the time for something better. This recipe is designed to be cooked on an outdoor grill as well so is great for those summer days when it's hot and you don't want to fire up your oven and cook dinner along with everyone with the misfortune of being in close proximity to your kitchen. And for those of you poor unfortunate souls like me who don't own a barbecue grill and must do all your cooking indoors, the recipe can be done in a traditional oven as well. I'm going to type the recipe just like its written and add my own personal insights down below.

1 large size Reynolds Foil Bag
4 medium potatoes, cut in 1/2 inch cubes
1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning, divided
1/2 tsp garlic salt
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (1 1/2 to 2 lbs)
1/2 cup Italian dressing
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tbsp flour
salt and pepper

Preheat grill to medium high. Open foil bag. Spray inside of foil bag with nonstick cooking spray. Combine potatoes, 1 tsp Italian seasoning and garlic salt. Arrange potatoes on one side of foil bag in an even layer. Sprinkle chicken with remaining Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Arrange chicken in an even layer on other side of foil bag. Combine Italian salad dressing, parmesan cheese and flour; spoon over chicken. To seal, double fold open end of foil bag. To cook, slide foil bag onto grill. Grill 20 to 25 minutes in covered grill. Use oven mitts and cut open foil bag with a sharp knife. Carefully fold back top of foil bag, allowing steam to escape. Spoon sauce over chicken. Sprinkle with additional parmesan cheese, if desired.

All that being said, here is how I made this recipe. I was certain that I had some foil bags in my cupboard and had everything out to begin making this recipe when I discovered that what I had thought were foil bags were instead crock pot liners. Oops. So I improvised. I went ahead and peeled and chopped my potatoes. Peeling wouldn't be necessary but my children have an aversion to anything that appears to be a peel left on their potatoes, so I peeled mine so I wouldn't have to hear the complaints. I always like to do my potatoes when I have a free minute during the day and then put them in a container large enough to hold them plus cover them with water. So long as they are covered, they won't turn brown or red on you and will patiently wait for you all day, if necessary, until such time as you have the time to use them.

When I was ready to assemble everything in preparation for dinner, I washed my chicken (I prefer to use chicken tenders here since they are more reasonably sized portions for my small eaters), peeled off the yucky parts and tossed these in a dish with the italian seasoning and salt and pepper, trying to coat everything as evenly as possible. I then laid them out in a 9x13 baking dish.

Mix together the dressing, cheese, and flour and then spoon it over the top of each chicken piece.
I then went ahead and drained the water from the potatoes and then tossed in the italian seasoning and garlic salt and tossed them together so everything got coated pretty evenly.

I forgot to take a picture but at this point, I dumped the potatoes across the top of the chicken.  In hindsight, it probably makes more sense to have put the potatoes on the bottom and the chicken on top.  Oh well, no harm done.  I covered my pan with foil before baking. The night I made this turned out to be a night of multiple miscommunications when one or more persons were missing for various spans of time during the time I was hoping to have dinner ready to eat. So this is how I improvised my cooking schedule first to speed it up and then to slow it back down when I realized that another wrinkle in my immaculate time management had arisen. I baked mine for 40 min. at 425F, then turned the oven down to 350F and cooked for another 20 min. then turned it down yet again, this time to 300F for another 15 minutes. Each time I messed with the temperature, I would also spoon it around so I suppose eventually the chicken did end up on top with the potatoes underneath.  Finally, by then, everyone was home and we hastily ate our meal before the next batch of disappearances began. I don't think it needed this much time to bake but it didn't ruin it. It was actually nice and tender despite it's super long convoluted journey through my ovens various temperature scales. Certainly, cooking it on the grill, as advertised, would have been way easier. There you have it folks... improvisation at it's finest!  And of course, I forgot to take a picture of the final product so you'll just have to take my word for it that they turned out yummy and delicious (and looked nice too).
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